Duncan CenotaphCharles Hoey Park

As part of our effort to document the names on the Duncan Cenotaph in Charles Hoey Park, here is some information about Private James Arthur Childs, who was killed in action on 24 April 1915, aged 20, at Ypres.

Here is the local Cowichan Leader newspaper report of Private James Arthur Childs’ death:

“Two Cowichan Men Killed In Action 

News has been received during this past week that two more men from Cowichan have laid down their lives in the great War. They are Lieutenant J. Gillon Ferguson, 3rd Middlesex Regiment, whose name has appeared in the lists, and Private James A. Childs, 7th Battalion, C.E.F., news of whose death at Ypres on April 24th last has come to hand.

Lieut, Fergusson was well known in Cowichan, both in business and in sport, and his loss is keenly felt. He went into the real estate business in Duncan some four years ago, first organizing the Country Estate office, and later entering into a partnership with Mr. F.D. Boyd, who now has a commission in the Ulster division. The firm of Fergusson and Boyd moved to Maple Bay about a year ago and continued business there together with starting the Beach store.

Mr. Fergusson was a member of the Duncan Board of Trade and had a number of investments in hand in the area. he was associated with the Maple Bay Aquatic Club from its inception and took great interest in all that pertained to shooting, tennis, motoring and boating.

He was 29 years of age and was educated at Loretto school, Edinburgh. He gained his commission when with the first contingent at Salbury, having joined the 50th Highlanders in Victoria. His elder brother, a lieutenant in the Black Watch, was killed early in the war.

Private J.A. Childs was aged 20 years and came to Thetis Island some two years ago where he worked at Mr. Burchell’s place. In March, last year [1914], he came to work for Mr. Barrington-Foote at Maple Bay store and directly war broke out he enlisted with the 88th Fusiliers, going out with the first contingent in the 7th Battalion. His home was in Hendon, Surrey. [note: the Commonwealth War Graves Commission states his parents were Samuel and Margaret Childs, 31 Woodland Way, Mill Hill, London, England]”

(Source: Cowichan Leader, 13 May 1915, from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)

Here is some additional information about James Arthur Childs:

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